Manchester United opened up a 9 point lead at the top of the Premier League thanks to a hard fought victory versus Fulham at Craven Cottage (and City drawing with Liverpool).
United recalled Antonio Valencia and Nani to the wings and Thomas Cleverley came back into midfield to partner Michael Carrick. Nemanja Vidic was rested with the game v Everton in mind (expecting a an aerial battle).
The game got off to a frantic start, both teams forcing good saves from the respective keepers as well striking the woodwork. The game was decided with just over 10 minutes to go, Wayne Rooney who was a threat all game calmly finding the corner as he strode into the Fulham area.
The Reds withstood the late Fulham pressure to put themselves in a brilliant position with 13 games to go.
There was lots of quality on show, here are my Top GIFs…
Manchester United took full advantage of rival Citys’ dropped points with a hard working 3 points against a spirited and lively Southampton side.
United made their customary start it woul seem this season by allowing the opposition a 1 goal lead, even handing it to them on a plate as a poor back pass allowed the Saints to score within 2 minutes. The Reds didn’t waste much time to level thanks to a superb pass from Shinji Kagawa and a calm Rooney finish. Rooney scored again thanks to a brilliant assist by Patrice Evra and went into the 2nd half looking to kill off the game. The 3rd goal never came and Southampton to their full credit pushed for an equaliser that United managed to avoid.
“Champions win games when playing badly” Yup, it was one of those.
Still, there were plenty of United highlights, here are my GIFs of the game…
Ryan Giggs gave a timely reminder of the ability he still has in the FA Cup tie with West Ham United which the Reds won 1-0 to progress to the 4th Round. A constant threat via some brilliant passing and some direct dribbling we have seen many times before, he was named MOTM on the night.
Involved in 3 of the 5 top GIF moments, he won plenty of votes.
The results, in reverse order, are…
Manchester United progressed the 4th Round of the FA Cup after beating West Ham Untied 1-0 in a replay of the 3rd round tie.
United rested several key players with a tough visit to Spurs at the weekend and took the opportunity to welcome back a few players from recent injuries into the first team with Anderson, Nani and Wayne Rooney all starting.
The clean sheet would be a real boost for the Reds, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have brilliant games at centre back. Wayne Rooney marked his return with the only goal and Ryan Giggs turned back the clocks to be the stand out player from both teams throughout.
Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1. Beautiful result to seal a double over Liverpool this season and keep their 7 point lead at the top of the Premier League intact.
United recalled Danny Welbeck to the starting line up, a decision that paid off as he was named MOTM by Sky’s Gary Neville.
The Reds domianted the first half with the very promising midfield trio of Carrick, Cleverley and Kagawa playing some neat football, liking well with Welbeck and Van Persie to create enough chances to have the home crowd wondering how it was only 1-0 at HT.
A second did come, and despite Liverpool having the better of the 2nd half, United’s defence, leaky this season, held firm to see the Reds home.
Manchester United completed their busy festive period with a 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic to maintain their 7 point lead at the top of the table.
United, on the back of their clean sheet victory over West Brom, started the game professionally looking to stay tight and not concede the first goal as they have many times this season. When the time was right, they up their game and scored 2 quick goals before half time to put themselves in full control. 2 further goals followed as well as a much welcome successive clean sheet.
There were plenty of moments to enjoy, and this could well be my busiest post. Here are my top 5 GIF moments from the game…
So as 2012 comes to close, we all like to look back at the year for our favourite moments.
In general, it was a year to forget – losing the title to City in the dying seconds and watching Chelsea lift the European Cup – but as the year ends, United sit top of the table with a nice 7 point lead and a real optimism around the club that 2013 could end with silverware.
To help celebrate the year, and to remember why we love this club so very very much, here are some of the highlights of 2012…
Manchester United will go into the new year 7 points clear at the top of the table as they beat West Bromich Albion 2-0 at Old Trafford to end 2012 in a positive mood.
United rested Robin van Persie and with Wayne Rooney out injured gave Danny Welbeck the chance to start as well as the return of Japanese playmaker, Shinji Kagawa.
The Reds dominated the first half but only had one goal to show it for it. This gave WBA encouragement as they started to press for an equaliser. United’s leaky defence held strong, with the returning Nemanja Vidic, alongside Jonny Evans looking like his former self.
United capped the game, and the year in stunning fashion with a late second goal.